Kahnawà:ke Community Decision Making Process

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What is the community decision making process (CDMP)?

Feedback and/or suggestions on proposed revisions to the Community Decision Making Process (CDMP) are underway. A substantial majority of participants have indicated they feel the CDMP is too lengthy. In response to this, the KLCC is proposing several changes to improve efficiency. They include:

Official Press Release announcement
Summary of CDMP Revisions
CDMP Draft Regulations Flowchart
CDMP Type I (New Law & Amendment) - Fundamental Process Flowchart
CDMP Type II (New law & Amendment) - Regulatory (Specific Group/Sector) Process Flowchart

Background information on the CDMP can be found below:

In 1995, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke delegated the Kahnawà:ke Justice Commission (KJC) to develop laws for the community. Although this was needed, it was also problematic due to the composition of the KJC, which was comprised of Court personnel, Justices of the Peace, Peacekeepers and Community Services. These individuals were developing community legislation (or laws), and they also had the responsibility to enforce and interpret these laws. This was interpreted as a conflict.

Additionally, considerable criticism from the community in how decision-making occurs resulted in the Mohawk Council of Kahnà:wake (MCK) mandating the Office of the Council of Chiefs (OCC) to develop a community decision-making model that could address the community’s wish for more direct involvement.

The OCC conducted research into various legislative models, held focus group sessions and conducted stakeholder and community consultation. They also consulted with the MCK Traditional Working Group on the possibility of developing a more “traditional” (culturally based) model that could be used to address the need for community participation, input and consultation.

As a result, the Community Decision-Making Model was drafted. This model, which is a form of direct democracy, is not the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke’s version of “traditional government”, but rather a consensus-building model that incorporates our traditional principles and meeting format so that we may educate ourselves in that area and work towards the eventual implementation of the 1979 Mandate (to move towards a more traditional form of government).

Although the Community Decision-Making Model at first glance may appear long and tedious, based on the research conducted to date, it also appears this is the direction in which the community wants to go. The process is a model specifically developed so that it could evolve into a tool for the eventual and ultimately more “traditional” government structure that the community wants to see for Kahnawà:ke. The LCC held numerous information sessions on the Community Decision-Making Process with various focus groups and community interest groups.

On May 30, 2005, MCED No. 14/2005-2006 establishing the LCC and further directing the LCC to activate the legislative process at a time after internal departments and community institutions have been informed as to how the legislative process shall function was enacted.

On October 14, 2005, MCED No.’s 47/2005-2006 and 48/2005-2006 accepted and approved the usage of 1) the Request for Legislation Form; and 2) the Community Decision-Making Process document and flowchart.

On February 6, 2007, MCED No. 61/2006-2007, which provided the following: 1) Appointed an LCC Chairperson; 2) Appointed a Chiefs Oversight Committee; 3) accepted the “Legislative Categorization and Schedule” document; 4) officially put into force the LCC as of April 1, 2007; and 5) directed the LCC to present their recommendations on Legislative priorities at the start of the first official MCK Legislative Session was enacted.

Click here to view the Kahnawà:ke Legislative Coordinating Commission mandate.

Along with the passage of MCED No. 61/2006-2007, the Council Table also directed the LCC to conduct community information (or “mock”) sessions as an education process targeted a the larger community as a final step in the implementation of the Community Decision-Making Model.

This resulted in the hosting of three (3) community mock sessions whose purpose was to inform and educate the community on the model, as well as to obtain feedback on what values and principles would be used as a basis for the development of laws in Kahnawà:ke.